Research & Development

Joe Doccola - Director of Research and Development

Joe is an ISA Certified Arborist and Plant Health Care Specialist with over 30 years of experience in the horticultural and arboricultural fields. Joe was educated at Cornell University in Plant Sciences and at the New York Botanical Garden in Horticulture. He has worked in commercial, residential and public environments, and managed Plant Health Care in Prospect Park, for the City of New York. For over 15 years, Joe has developed research methods for Arborjet technology and has established cooperative studies with universities, the USFS and private entities in efforts to manage invasive and destructive tree pests.  He has authored and co-authored publications on destructive pests of trees such as the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, Erythrina Gall Wasp, and Emerald Ash Borer.

Don Grosman - Technology Advancement Manager

Since joining the Arborjet team in 2013, Don Grosman is utilizing his broad knowledge of entomology and insect control strategies to help develop the next evolution in plant health technology. He holds a PhD. in Entomology from the Virginia Tech, a M.S. in Forestry from the University of Maine, Orono, and Bachelor of Science in Forest Biology from SUNY-CESF, Syracuse. Previously, Don served as Coordinator of the Forest Pest Management Cooperative based with the Texas Forest Service (17 years). He has conducted ground-breaking research in protecting the urban and natural forests against pests, including bark beetles, seed and cone insects, pine tip moth, and leaf-cutting ants. He has also discovered the efficacy of emamectin benzoate against several pine bark beetles, ambrosia beetles, and stem gall wasps.

At Arborjet, Don coordinates with Director of Research & Development Joe Doccola and President Russ Davis to identify, develop, and evaluate environmentally friendly and effective products and application systems for southern and western United States markets. He conducts laboratory and field bioassays with emphasis on the applied control of natural and urban forest insect and disease. A prolific author, Don has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals; is a frequent presenter at conferences; and is a member of various societies and committees including the Entomological Society of America and the International Society of Arboriculture – Texas. Don has been recognized with several awards such as the Forest Research Award and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Services.

Don has relocated with family to New Hampshire. Outside work, he spends time with family, wood carving, and repairing his log home, and in 2016 he started a Christmas tree farm.

John-Michael Alexy - Research and Formulations Specialist

JM is a graduate of Boston University, where he earned a degree in Biology. He has enjoyed being outdoors and discovering the “how and why” of nature. As he got older this encouraged him to pursue a career in which he could feed his curiosity. Previously, JM has worked in catalyst research at BASF, and on forward osmosis water treatment at Oasys Water. These positions equipped him with a wide range of chemistry and engineering skills that he brings to Arborjet.

JM joined the Arborjet Research & Development team in 2016, where his main focus is implementing in-house studies, and analyzing the data that is collected. His time is also dedicated to adjusting current formulations, and assisting with the development of future products. He also performs in-house analysis of Arborjet products, and formulates the products as well.

When he’s not formulating in Arborjet’s lab, JM enjoys doing some formulations of his own at his home brewery. You can also find him on the golf course or out fishing, satisfying his need to be outdoors.

 

Francesca Holinko - Horticultural Specialist

Francesca Holinko is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden.  As a member of the Research and Development team at Arborjet, Francesca is responsible for greenhouse and nursery management, as well as the propagation and care of all plants trees and shrubs used in research trials.  Francesca joined Arborjet in 2017.

Francesca has a keen interest in plant taxonomy and systematics. She is always willing to identify plants and trees to any innocent bystander, giving the binomial and family name in Latin.  She’ll be happy to tell you interesting facts about plants, proper planting techniques, soil pH, and general information about best practices in plant health care.  Francesca writes for the blog The Dirt on Dirt.  In her free time, Francesca is a garden designer having designed and installed gardens in the metropolitan Boston area and North Shore.

Prior to making a career change to horticulture, Francesca worked in health care management.  She holds an ALB in Humanities from Harvard University.

Ploy Kurdmongkoltham - Plant Pathologist & Microbiologist

Ploy began at Arborjet in the Spring of 2019 as our inhouse Plant Pathologist and Microbiologist. She recently graduated from the University of Florida with a Doctor of Plant Medicine degree. While at school, she worked on row crop pest and diseases as well as foodborne pathogens. Ploy has other experience such as leading and coordinating Florida First Detector workshops, teaching growers, Master Gardeners and the public on identifying pest and diseases. In addition to her DPM, Ploy has also earned a Master’s Degree in Plant Biology from Jacksonville State University.

Since starting her master’s program, Ploy developed interest in working in research and development. Being in the lab became a second home to her. I also love nature and hiking, so combining the two sounds perfect! Outside of the lab, Ploy enjoys exploring new places and trying new foods, singing, and playing her clarinet.